Classic Elsternwick - Saturday 22 August 2015, 12:30pm
Running time: 75m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Coarse language)
Release date: 20/08/15
Cost: $10.00 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 5.5/10 (ME 3, DP 2.5/5)
Iris Apfel, the namesake of Iris, is now in her 90s and a self-proclaimed “geriatric starlet”. Early in her life she was told by the founder of Loehmann’s, a New York Department Store that “…you’ll never be pretty, but you have style!”, a statement that has guided the way she has seen and lived her entire life. She felt that she had to do something else to be attractive, so she worked hard and together with Carl, her husband of 65 years, established a highly successful interior design business and a textile manufacturing firm that designed, restored and recreated beautiful fabrics for wealthy clients. These ventures provided the substantial income that allowed them to travel the world and over the years bring together a vast collection of eccentric, quirky and even occasionally beautiful belongings and clothes, that they clearly both cherish. They have such a bizarre array of objects filling their various houses and storage spaces that, on any other day, the two of them may well be considered for an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive.
Iris is apparently well known for her exaggerated round glasses and for the knack of combining expensive designer pieces with items found in markets or re-designed from other sources (church vestments anyone?) and then topping it all off with layers and layers of jewellery and accessories, the bigger the better….and somehow it all works. Apparently?? Iris’ sense of style was fostered by her mother, who “worshipped at the altar of the accessory”, and she certainly ran with this influence and let it grow freely. Iris loves shopping at cheap stores, seeking out and haggling for garments and accessories that she prizes for their personality, rather than purchasing a more generic wardrobe. She also reveals how she often enjoys the process of dressing for the many events to which she is invited, over actually attending these events.
This movie shows us Iris Apfel in an almost perpetual state of performance and provides an amusing portrait of an aging but still extremely dynamic woman. Fans and fashionistas with a pre-existing knowledge of Apfel and her style influence will probably get the most from this movie. For the rest of us it never digs deep enough into Iris’ life or the world of fashion and style to make it an extremely memorable portrait, however it is still somewhat interesting and fun to learn a bit about this flamboyant and eccentric lady. (DP)